Walter Hays is a wonderful public school with excellent teachers. The curriculum is broad and well-balanced, integrating visual literacy, music and performance in teaching basic academic subjects. The facility is charming. The principal leads well and openly. This all became especially clear to us when we moved to Illinois, to a city known for its 'top schools' that in no way compare to Walter Hays.
This is a very good school, with very high academic expectations and achievement. The parent community is extremely involved. The teaching is creative and rich for the most part, with a lot of very good teachers. There is a fair amount of art, outside science classes, drama and music although most of these programs are slowly shrinking because of diminishing funds.
This school has very high parent participation in terms of time and financial support. As a result, this school has been able to finance additional classroom aides. The kids seems to benefit from the extra help and score well in state-wide standards tests. On the flipside, some may view that the school is unduly influenced by a small, core group of parents, making it difficult for other parents to become involved in the decision making process.